Fatten your bottom end with these new beaters from Vic Firth
Words: Nick Carter Images: Thru-A-Lupe Photographic
Last month, our generous friends over at Korg UK supplied us with the chance for one lucky reader to win one of Vic Firth’s new VicKick bass drum beaters, and after we’d spent some time playing with these superb new products, we thought we’d give them a thorough test to see exactly what they have to offer…
VKB2 wood model
The first of our trio is the wooden radial beater. Made from hard maple, the beater features two different playing surfaces: completely flat or, with a quick twist, a smooth, rounded contact point. Using the flat surface gives a very full, solid note with plenty of punch and attack to help enhance the articulation of your kick. The hard maple adds a noticeable amount of click to your sound, particularly in the ‘flat’ position, but also when you turn the beater 90° to play with the rounded area, although here you also get a little more warmth in the notes produced. This beater is perfect for rock and metal drummers who prefer clean, clear tones with plenty of attack without sacrificing the fullness of their drums, and works best when the batter head is fairly slack, giving the optimum amount of punch to notes produced.
This second model is identical in terms of design, but features a hard felt beater as opposed to the wooden variation. This gives slightly more in terms of warmth, while at the same time maintaining an increased clarity and projection, especially when using the flat playing surface. Being slightly more subtle than its maple cousin, this particular beater is more at home in a wider variety of musical styles and settings, and would serve well for pop, funk, Latin and gospel playing, to name but a few. It provides cut and clarity to ensure your kick is heard – and also felt – whenever it is played.
VKB3 fleece model
The final beater of the trio features a medium felt core covered in a soft, almost luxurious fleece, with an appearance reminiscent of hand-held bass drum beaters. The softness of the fleece provides you with a deep, rich tone from your kick, perfect for softer playing or styles that benefit from having a warm, deep bass tone. Feathered notes provide a very full sound, with the beater enticing low tones out of the drum with ease, while louder playing provides you with more of the same richness and tone, especially if you ensure you are playing off the head. If it’s warmth and depth you’re after, then this is the beater for you.
VicKick bass drum beaters
VKB1 (Felt): £27.95
VKB2 (Wood): £24.95
VKB3 (Fleece): £29.95
KORG UK Ltd